Copyright and Aboriginal Art: Balancing Western Law and Aboriginal Culture

Katrina Chapman


The paper outlines significant developments in copyright protection of Aboriginal art. This outline reveals that protection of art is improving as understanding of Aboriginal culture grows. Also apparent are the limitations of the Copyright Act when representing the complexity inherent in the respectful treatment of the art in the range of circumstances that it becomes involved. A large proportion of Aboriginal art is culturally significant with some containing sacred imagery. Thus, the rights of more than just the artist are at stake, with communal rights coming into play. Until such time as these rights have been formalised, awareness must be raised of artist's rights and of the responsibilities of those dealing with the work.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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